‘It’s not about you’ - Norfolk shoppers react to new face covering rules

A pedestrian wearing a face mask in Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

A pedestrian wearing a face mask in Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

Shoppers in Norfolk have been reacting to the news that, from later this month, they will have to wear a face covering when making a trip to the supermarket or the high street.

From July 24, customers will be required to wear them in all shops and supermarkets in England, the government has announced.

Many shoppers greeted the news with positivity. Zara Bullen, from Norwich, said she hoped the move would change attitudes towards wearing face coverings.

She said: “I’ve been wearing a mask whenever I’ve gone to the shop. It’s even more important now everyone is closer and not staying two metres away.

MORE: Who does and doesn’t have to wear face coverings in shops?

“Hopefully it’ll help make it more normal to wear a mask. I feel like everyone looks at you funny if you walk around wearing a mask at the moment.

“I feel like too many people dismiss masks and say they don’t work, but a lot don’t seem to realise that it’s not about you – it’s about protecting others in case you’re carrying it. I don’t think that has been talked about enough and drilled in.”

Eleanor Taylor, of Dereham, also welcomed the news as she feels too many people are being “stubborn” instead of taking safety measures.

“It doesn’t take much just to put a mask on, but some people make a big deal out of it,” she said.

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However one man, who wanted to be identified only as Ryan, said he did not think many would follow the new guidelines as there are “too many rules already”.

He said: “It’s just confusing. I don’t think the masks make much of a difference otherwise they would have done it months ago.”

That confusion was also common among people on social media, many of whom were happy to see the new rule but wondered why it had taken so long for the government to implement it.

Francesca Baber said it was “great news” but said it “should have been like this from day one”, while Caroline Jarvis agreed it was a “bit late” as “we should have worn them months ago”.

MORE: ‘Sit at home or accept it’: Shop boss on face masks

Ffyona Murphy, however, described it as “ridiculous” as the UK is “pretty much out of lockdown and we have to wear masks, yet when we were in lockdown we didn’t have to”.

Meanwhile, Sarah Grant, who is deaf, described the new rule as her “worst nightmare”.

“I already have to ask staff to remove their masks when they speak to me,” she said. “I’ll be doing more shopping online.”